Transport and Environment Committee pass CCWEL

City Edinburgh Council Visualisation - CCWEL at Haymarket
City Edinburgh Council Visualisation - CCWEL at Haymarket

As you have likely heard, the Edinburgh Council Transport and Environment Committee have voted to keep moving forward with the CCWEL.  Some of the objections raised need to go before a public hearing.  The traffic orders have been approved excepting those parts and work will continue.  That's one more hurdle cleared in the long and complicated official process for building our West-East link.

As our readers know, this site promotes evidence-based analysis, so we listened in detail to what the various Councillors were saying and compared that to the facts from our research.

SNP, Labour and Green unconditional support

We are very grateful to the SNP, Labour and Green Councillors for the their continued dedication to make Edinburgh a leading active-travel City with benefits to pollution, health, congestion, the environment and more.

Liberal Democrat and Conservative support with concerns

Some Councillors from these parties assured the meeting that they support the CCWEL in principal, and we are grateful for the outpouring of LibDem support on Twitter.  On the other hand the Liberal Democrat and Conservative Councillors voted for an amendment (which was voted down by the other parties) to delay the entire project until completion of the public hearing.

With a strong sense of deja vu, we listened while two Councillors in particular raised many concerns that have been answered before by the Council Officers and here on this site.  Councillor Gloyer proposed to use the time for the public hearing for further consultation.  However there has been an unprecedented investment of time and money spent on engaging with the public and altering the design wherever possible.  Nevertheless, people keep raising the same objections even though they have already been answered — as Councillor Gloyer neatly demonstrates.

The arguments have been carefully considered with hours spent researching the facts and finding the best balance for everyone. Our group strongly supports the SNP, Labour and Green Councillors to press forward as it's not productive to keep circling round the same arguments over and over again.

Councillor Gloyer (Liberal Democrat)

Each bullet is Councillor question then our answer.

  • Some cyclists would have preferred option BDirect, segregated routes are absolutely key to make active travel more attractive to those who currently do not use it. This is endorsed by major cycling organisations, government recommendations, many surveys, comments on cycling forums and observation of other routes that are already in operation.  There were a variety of significant problems with option B.
  • Older people concerned about safety of toucan crossing; Toucan to be used by school children on their way to school.  CCWEL has many measures to improve pedestrian safety, notably including the extra crossing at Tesco's, closure of the rat run and fully-segregated paths in contrast to shared paths on the existing NR1. Toucan crossings exist at a number of places in the city, and the system of cyclists giving way to pedestrians works reasonably well.  School children also benefit greatly from being able to cycle to school.
  • Passing trade will buy their rolls and newspapers elsewhere.  Studies invariably show that trade is not harmed by introduction of cycle routes, especially with the substantial benefits of Rejuvenating Roseburn. Parking within 2 minutes walk of the shop has increased, allowing shoppers to park legally in short stay spaces, rather than having to use loading bays illegally.
  • Bus users concerned that their journeys will be delayed, despite confident predictions of officers.  There are minimal queues Westbound on West Coates, even at peak times a while back when one lane was closed for roadworks.  The bottleneck is at the Roseburn Terrace / Roseburn Street junction where parked vehicles and right-turning traffic block buses. The new junction design will reduce this bottle-neck.

Councillor Douglas (Conservative)

  • Why was there no monitoring on surrounding residential streets (Henderland Road and Murrayfield Avenue)?  There has been a huge investment in modelling.  It's not clear why those two streets would be negatively affected.
  • Huge local opposition — local residents and businesses totally against this plan, with a 6000 signature petition.  The formal consultation showed Edinburgh residents significantly in favour. The petition against was based a document containing many misconceptions and factual errors and furthermore there have been many design improvements since.
  • Parents will not let their children cycle along the route.  See above.  Safer routes to schools is one of the key elements of modern active travel and there is ample evidence that parents and children will use a safe route.

A webcast of the meeting is available should you wish to listen. The discussion of the CCWEL starts at 1:01.

Consultation results

City Edinburgh Council visualisation - cycle route and new pedestrian crossings Crossing and
City Edinburgh Council visualisation - cycle route and new pedestrian crossings

Edinburgh Council have published the results from the Traffic Order consultation for the City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL).

This document is the briefing from Council Officers to the Councillors on the Transport and Environment Committee who meet on 20th June.  The Council unanimously approved the route last year, and since then there have been hundreds of improvements and compromises.  Nevertheless the meeting is an important next step for the CCWEL, so please do contact your Councillors to remind them that the route has widespread support.  You can use ideas and facts from our site, but try to use your own words.

It is long and detailed document, so we've put together a summary.

  • There were 94 responses compared with thousands getting involved earlier in the consultation.  This suggests that the majority of people are content now that the Council Officers have resolved problems and are offering local residents so much with Rejuvenating Roseburn.
  • There were 47 objections.  These technical consultations don't have a formal mechanism to show support but, due to the exceptional public interest in this issue, it also gathered 43 letters of support.
  • The Council Officers are recommending that 13 of these objections require a public hearing unless withdrawn.  The remainder have been addressed by amendments or explanatory responses.
  • Only 4 areas are affected by the objections, so the Councillors are invited to approve the remainder of the route.

Consultation Ends Soon!

Friday 18th May is the last day of the Traffic Order consultation for the City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL).  If you have not already responded, please do — the Council would like to hear from those who support the scheme as well as those who have objections.  Find out more in our article.

We have already sent in our response in support, as the case seems clear:

  1. There are many benefits, especially for kids to be active and less affected by pollution
  2. Since the Council voted unanimously in favour of the route there has been a big investment in time to listen to any remaining concerns and fix them.  In some stretches where the width has been pared down, which is less ideal for cyclists but we recognise there has been a balanced consideration of the needs of all road users and businesses.
  3. It's not just for cyclists: there are big benefits for pedestrians and even motorists benefit from improved junction flow.
  4. It's not just for Roseburn: the new route is a key part of a city-wide network that won't work if there is a missing link.

This is how much people care about cycling...

The 7th Pedal on Parliament was a huge success, showing that thousands of people care enough about cycling to give up their time and show up on a cold and rainy morning.  Andy Catlin's wonderful pictures include the Roseburn feeder ride. It was great to see lots of families and kids able to enjoy the traffic-free riding thanks to a police escort. We are all looking forward to a time when they can be out and about on their bikes every day thanks to safe and segregated routes.

Roll on the CCWEL!!

2 ways to support cycling in West Edinburgh

After a quiet few months on the cycle path front, there are two ways in which we can all support cycling improvements in our area.

CCWEL - The final stage of consultation

As many of you will have seen from flyers through your doors, the Council has completed the detailed design drawings for the City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL). Now it is time for the final stage of consultation - the statutory Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and Redetermination Order (RSO) process.

There will be two public drop in sessions to view the designs.

  • Tuesday 17th April - 6 Murrayfield Place - 1pm to 7pm
  • Thursday 19th April - Apex Haymarket Hotel - 1pm to 7pm

You can get more information, including details of how to comment on the Council's CCWEL web page.

From 20th April, the TRO and RSO documents will be available here and we will have our own web page to make the complex drawings a bit easier to understand. Keep an eye on our homepage, Twitter and Facebook.

Please talk to your neighbours and friends. Explain the benefits and direct them to our website to see the drawings explained. Also, do feed in your comments and positive support to the Council at the address on the CCWEL page!

Pedal on Parliament - help make this the biggest ever West Edinburgh Feeder ride

Saturday 28th April is Pedal on Parliament day. We'd love all our supporters to come along with friends & family to help make this the biggest ever West Edinburgh Feeder ride and show our politicians how much we care about safer cycling infrastructure.

The ride will be family friendly, with support from the Police to get us through any difficult junctions.

The meeting points are

  • St Margaret’s Park, Corstorphine: 10am for 10.15 departure
  • Balgreen Tram stop: 10.35 departure
  • Roseburn Park: 10.30am for 10.50 departure
  • Russell Road ZigZags: 10.45 for 11am departure

See the Facebook event page for full details. If you are not travelling from the west, there are lots of other feeder rides too.

AGM Reminder - 12th March

Just a reminder that we will be holding our AGM tomorrow, 12th March 2018.

It will take place 7:30 to 9:00 pm at Murrayfield Parish Church Hall, Dove Lounge (accessed via rear doors). As well as the election of the committee for the coming year, there will be an opportunity to hear about progress on the detailed design for the City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL) and give us your ideas and feedback.

Nominations for new committee members and officers are welcome. Please contact us in advance of the meeting.

The agenda is

  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Chair’s report - including current status of CCWEL project
  3. Secretary’s report
  4. Election of Chair, Secretary & committee members
  5. Any other business


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